TAXI Road Rally 2009

"I just returned home last night from my first Road Rally. I learned more in three days about the business of music than I have from 45 years in playing bars. It was great, I loved it, and I will be back next year."
Dean Brittain, TAXI member

Photos by James DiModica
Jeffrey Steel
Mega Hit songwriter Jeffrey Steel admires his Lifetime Achievement award during the presentation by Michael Laskow at this year's Road Rally.
"Attending at least one Rally is invaluable."

– Casey Hurwitz
TAXI member
Kara DioGuardi
Hit songwriter, American Idol judge, and Warner Bros. Records, V.P. of A&R Kara DioGuardi loved this performance by TAXI member Anthony Snape.
Jeffrey Steele interviewed by Michael Laskow
Jeffrey Steele (left) being interviewed by Michael Laskow in front of a packed house.
"The positivity and overall energy level at this year's Road Rally was completely off the charts."

– Fett, Producer
Hit Songwriters panel
The "Hit Songwriters" panel (left to right) Andy Goldmark, Adam Watts, Andy Dodd, and Danny Wells crack up over Steve Dorff's answer.
Country Music Panel
Ralph Murphy (left), V.P., ASCAP Nashville, gets some serious attention from his fellow panelists Cliff Audretch III, Sr. Dir. of A&R, Universal South; Sherrill Blackman (top Country Song plugger); and Danny Wells (hit songwriter).
"If you can only go to one convention, go to the TAXI Road Rally"

– Rob Chiarelli,
Multi-platinum mixer/producer
TAXI Members / Film-TV Panel
Successful TAXI Members (L to R) Matt Hirt, Suz Doyle, Dean Krippaehne, Chuck Schlacter (hidden), Ed Hartman, Martin Haene, Vikki Flawith, Dave Walton, Barry French, and John Mazzei look on as TAXI president, Michael Laskow interviews member Tracey Marino on the "Writing Songs and Composing Instrumentals for Film & TV" panel.
Members take copious notes
Members take copious notes during a panel at the Rally.
"You don't know me, but you have changed my life."

– John Cimino,
TAXI member
"The whole dad-gum thing was incredible!"

Patrick Baker
TAXI member
Major Label A&R panel
Cliff Audretch III, Sr. Director of A&R at Universal South; Monti Olson, Sr. V.P. of A&R, Universal Music Publishing Group; Angelo Sanders, Sr. Director of A&R at Island Def Jam; Ken Komisar, President, Tennman/Interscope; and TAXI's Michael Laskow strike a pose after the "Major Label A&R" panel.
Ulla Lindstroem wins a Gauge microphone
TAXI member Ulla Lindstroem was very happy to win a Gauge microphone as a door prize that she could take home to Denmark.
It must have been fun getting it through airport security!
"TAXI is (and its members are) the real deal. Anyone in attendance knows this."

– Albert Di Cicco
"I'm looking forward to digging through the music from this year's A&R panel!"

– Ken Komisar,
President, Tennman/Universal Records
Packtakes CDs
Legendary A&R person Don Grierson giving great advice to a TAXI member during a 1-to-1 Mentor Session.
Robyn Newman
Canadian TAXI member Robyn Newman gives it everything she's got during her live performance for American Idol judge and mega-hit songwriter Kara DioGuradi at the Rally.
"The TAXI Road Rally is the best conference I have ever been to for musicians looking to become better at songwriting, performing, networking and marketing."

– Ariel Hyatt,
"Warmth, support, knowledge, and camaraderie that filled the entire event."

– Meridith Lepe,
TAXI member
Kara DioGuardi critiques Robyn Newman
Kara DioGuardi (right) gives her critique of Robyn Newman's performance.
Free Book Award
ASCAP Nashville V.P. Ralph Murphy (left) gives one his famous impromptu critiques to a TAXI member in a hotel hallway. Murphy is also hit songwriter in his own right.
"The Rally gives hardworking musicians excellent access to industry professionals."

– Ed Hartman,
TAXI member
West L.A. Music
Rally attendees enjoy the great deals offered by sponsors such as West L.A. Music during the weekend. It's like a toy store for grown ups!
Cliff Audretch III
Universal South's Director of A&R and Staff Producer Cliff Audretch III checks out some music from TAXI member, Jackie Kavan.
"If someone has found a company that offers more opportunities in so many aspects of this business please tell me."

– Lee Johnson
"The TAXI Road Rally is like the Artists Guide to the Galaxy – on crack!"

– Mark Taylor
Matt Malley
Counting Crows founding bass player (and TAXI screener) Matt Malley (left) listens intently to a TAXI member during his 1-to-1 mentor session.
Lamont signs autograph
Hundreds of TAXI members learn from music business luminaries such as TAXI's former Vice President Doug Minnick (center) during the Mentor Lunch sessions.
"After each Rally I go home with new contacts and ideas, and some of them have already materialized in new deals."

– Martin Haene,
TAXI member
Michael Lloyd
Legendary record producer Michael Lloyd (100 Gold and Platinum albums) shows why the Road Rally is famous for giving TAXI's members access to people they might otherwise never get a chance to meet.
Hit Song panel
Mega-producer Denny Diante holds court while fellow producers (left to right) Michael Lloyd, Rob Chiarelli, Ron Harris, and Beau Dozier listen on the Producers Looking for Hits panel at the Road Rally.
"The preeminent open forum for anyone who wants to be on an upward trajectory in the music business."

Pete Kehoe
TAXI member
"The Rally simply has to be experienced to be believed. Thank you TAXI for being so extraordinary!"

– Suzannah Doyle
Shortcuts to Hit Songwriting
This lucky member won a copy of Robin Frederick's (right) best-selling book, Shortcuts to Hit Songwriting, after Robin's powerful class in the main ballroom.
video game music agent Bob Rice
TAXI member Jack Tracey enjoys speaking with leading video game music agent, Bob Rice.
"Nothing can keep me away from this incredible annual event."

– Dean Krippaehne

"I have spent my life playing and singing in bands and this is the most real thing I have ever seen."
— Dwight Nichols,
TAXI Member

"I was cynical at first, but my wife convinced me to join and I'm very impressed."
— L.A. Van Fleet,
TAXI Member

"Nothing bad can come from belonging to this unbelievable organization that has definitely allowed my songs to be stronger than ever."
— Justine Kaye,
TAXI Member

"It is most certainly my honor to be a member of TAXI. Thank you again."
— Sharon Weinbrum,
TAXI Member

"The Road Rally is worth at least 4 times the cost of my TAXI membership, and it's free!"
— Dale Gustavson,
TAXI Member

"TAXI provided real access to a nearly inaccessible industry."
— John Mendoza,
TAXI Member

"I've been to tons of music seminars put on by reputable companies. None of them have ever come close to the Road Rally."
— Stuart Ridgway,
TAXI Member

"The dedication you have to your members is apparent."
— Tom Kovacs,
TAXI Member

"You are making an incredible difference in the lives of musicians and artists trying to break into the business!"
— Rob Khurana,
TAXI Member

"I would like to thank Taxi for helping me and my partner and become more polished writers."
— Liz Aday,
TAXI Member

"My writing and production skills have improved 200%! Although some credit belongs to me for such hard work, a lot belongs to you!"
— Chris Musulin,
TAXI Member

"Thanks again for everything that TAXI does. It's helping me to be a better writer."
— Chet Nichols,
TAXI Member

"The critques I've gotten back are really so encouraging. You listen so closely you spot all my weak spots, but also give me the feeling you really enjoy my music. I thank you."
— Willie McCulloch,
TAXI Member

"I recently got my first deal as a result of a submission to TAXI! I'm very excited to see that this actually works!"
— George Leverett,
TAXI Member